Friday, September 30, 2011

Fruit Salad with Honey

Hi Team - Happy Friday! It has been a busy week.  I've been here, there and everywhere. (everywhere was my favorite)

It's finally cooling down here in Cincinnati and I've decided that the weather change means I have to exercise more to stay warm. I know the winter tradition is to pack on the pounds, but today's simple and easy recipe will do everything but that!

1.  Gather your ingredients:

A Banana
Black Raspberries
An Apple
Natural Honey (Thanks Dad!)

But as usual, feel free add or take away your favorite fruits.

2.  Add the black raspberries to your bowl

3.  Slice an apple and put along the sides

4.  Grab the banana and slice it up - place them in the middle

5.  Add the raspberries and get out the honey - the honey gives it a nice sweet touch

6.  Yum! Add 2 tablespoons of honey (or more) and enjoy!

If you're substituting fruits, make sure it's a fruit for a fruit.  I intentionally did not include a dip for this recipe because most of them are unhealthy.  Honey is a natural sweetener, this is a healthy choice substitution in place of any dip that would compliment a bowl of fruit.

It's a journey; it's about taking one step at a time to reach your goals.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

How to Setup A Spinning Bike

Team - It has been a beautiful Thrusday here in Cincinnati.  It's very nice to see the sun shining and people walking around the city.

In my cycling class tonight (and usually every cycling class), I get the same question, "How do I set up my bike?" I always smile and say it's very easy!!!!

Here is a quick tutorial on setting up your bike:

Simple, right? A couple other things to note:

  1. The handle bars can be even with the seat to start and then adjust them to a comfortable height
  2. You don't want your leg fully extended OR have your kness close to your chin
  3. Sit on the widest part of the saddle and...
Enjoy your ride!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Workout at Home - It's easy!

Team - I had to come home today for multiple family reasons.  My family lives in Peebles, Ohio.  Most of you will not be familiar with Peebles becuase it's a small village in Southern Ohio.  We have lots of pizza shops, churches, hair salons and gas stations. We only have a couple stop lights and NO gyms. 

The gym situation did not stop me!  I took a look around my parent's home and came up with a game plan.  It was raining so I couldn't run outside. My workout stayed on our covered porch and consisted of jumping rope (cardio), tricep dips (upper body) and squat jumps (lower body).

I needed a 30 minute total body workout.  I did not have a stop watch and I did not want to watch my wristwatch so I took my Great Workout Playlist, from yesterday's post, and did each exercise station for an entire song. For example, I jumped rope for an entire song and I moved to the next station when the song finished.

Here are some highlights:

Station 1:  Jump Squats - I loved having a shorter song like "Bottle Pop" by PCD

 Station 2: Jump rope - I mixed it up a little bit by adding some moves from my Jump Rope Workout

Station 3: Dips - this was difficult - I turned over sometimes and did a Plank

Look at my Mom's Flowers! How do you workout at home? The only equipement you needed for this was a jump rope and I've gotta say, it was a great workout!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Great Workout Music

Team - Today's post is usually a Spinning playlist, but I thought I would mix it up and share my "Workout Playlist" with all of you.  Whether you're trying to get a classroom of people motivated or you're trying to motivate yourself, having a good playlist will help your workouts.

We have iPods, Zunes, MP3 Players and some of us might still use Discmans, but why is it easier to workout with music?

Listening to music is more complex than most of us can hear.  The brain has to sort out beats, tones, timing, and different sounds to comprehend the music.

Costas Karageorghis, a sports psychologist, has been studying the effects of exercise and music for 2 decades and determined that there are four factors that contribute to the motivation of a song:

1. Rhythm response - beats per minute
2. Musicality - structure of a song
3. Cultural Impact - preference
4. Association - how we associate with the song

Karageogghis categorized rhythm response and musically as "internal" factors and cultural impact and association as "external" factors.

For example, my one hour "Workout" playlist has upbeat songs for 55 minutes.  The BPMs (rhythm response) are faster and the sound is intriguing to me.  These are internal factors. The last song on the playlist is by Gaving Degraw relates back to Association.  It brings back relaxing memories of my home away from home; Atlanta, GA.

Take a lot at my playlist and let me know what you think:

More than likely, all of my music may not be right for you.  Don't let that stop you! Pick the music that is right for you.  Find those fast songs that will make you run harder and jump higher.  And don't forget to include a slower long at the end so you can stretch and relax at the end of your workout.

What songs are on your workout mix right now?

Source:  Why music makes exercise easier

Sunday, September 25, 2011

10 Minute Stability Ball Workout

Team - By viewer request, here is your Stability Ball Weekend Workout. The Stability Ball is a cheap and fun piece of fitness equipment most of us have around the house, but never use. dont' have an excuse, this workout is only 10 minutes (and it's a good one too).

The Stability Ball was introduced on Jonathon's Fitness at the start of it all! Check out my Stability Ball Fitness post to find out what stability ball is right for you.

What You'll Need:

  • Stability Ball
  • A mat for the toning portion of the workout

What do you wanna see next weekend? Let me know! I'll put together a 10 minute workout for you too.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Cake Cookies - My Cheat Food

Team - Finally, it's here! My favorite cheat meal.  Not only is this my favorite cheat food, it's the easiest cookie recipe to make.  I talk about fitness and health on an everyday basis, but I'm still very human and sometimes I splurge.  Today's recipe features Lactose Free Cake Cookies.

This recipe is great when you commit to bringing a dessert to a party or work because you only need a few things.  I am lactose intolerant, so much of my recipes will have no dairy in the ingrediants. So let's get started!

1.  Gather your ingrediants:
  • A box of Cake Mix - I picked Naturall Nora's Cake Mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup of Oil

2. Put the oil, eggs and cake mix in a mixing bowl

3.  Mix these ingrediants together and preheat the oven to 325 degrees

4.  Seperate the mixture into 1 inch balls and space out on cookie sheet

5. Place in the oven for 10-12 minutes or...

Until Golden Brown and cracking on top

6.  Move the cookes to a cooling rack or a flat surface (before)

7.  If you like, put some icing on them and enjoy!

They're always a crowd favorite! Try them out for yourself. 

What is your favorite cheat food? Comment and Share!

Making a Substitution

Team - Sometimes you have to change the pace of life and make a substitution. I am the first one to admit, I do not like when my schedule changes.  Keeping my life on a schedule makes me happy.  I like to wake up at the same time, go to bed the same time, teach the same number of classes and have the same diet. (my grocery store is always the same too!)

Instructors:  Recently, I've had the chance to sub a Cardio Kickboxing class for a friend. It is challenging to find the time before class to choregraphy a group of combinations, but this substitution job has ignited a flame again!  Cardio Kickboxing is an amazing workout.  Each week that class catches on faster, my combos get quicker, I get a heck of a workout and the moves just flow from one to the next with ease. It's such an amazing feeling when the entire class is doing the entire routine without any trouble.

I cannot wait to incorporate some of this inspiration in some of my other classes. Here is a 10 minute workout featuring Cardio Kickboxing:

Home Exercisers:  Try the workout above!  I recently had a hallway discussion with a co-worker about her morning workouts and diet. By default, I am the go-to person at work for anything diet and exercise related because I will always be as excited as the person giving me the health and fitness updates.  She explained to me that she made a substitution and it has helped her move in the right direction to achieve her goal weight.   

Her substitution was a V8 Fruit Fusion instead of her regular morning Coke. Within three weeks of her substitution, she was seeing a difference. Here is a quick breakdown of the differences: 

The above scenario shows the subsitutition. She is substituting her daily diet could (12 oz) for about the same of amount of V8 Fruit VFusion. Here's what she's not consuming:
  • Calories: 52/day, 364/week, 1456/month, 17,472/year
  • Sugar:  21.2/day, 148.4/week, 593/month, 7,132/year
Just from not drinking a can of coke a morning! And with a little math, I realized that drinking a can of coke is equivalent to consuming 15 pounds of sugar a year.

I am not a registered dietition, but a simple subsitution can make a huge impact on your life and health!  Maybe it's not the coke, but maybe it's the stairs or that extra glass of wine.

I challenge you to find ways to substitute something to be healthier.  Substitute a phone call with a friend with a walk down the street or treat yourself only on the weekend with that sweet tea from McDonalds instead of everyday after work.

Here's your challenge; set goals and achieve them! Now, tell me, what is one substitution you will make to become healthier?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Push up Bootcamp Drill

Team - Happy Tuesday!  It definitely feels like a push up kind of day.  I tried this bootcamp push up drill last week in my class and they not only loved it, but they liked the challenge as well.  You can use this drill at home or in a group class. It's simple and only takes 10 minutes to complete.  Here's what you'll need:

30 Second Push up Challenge

Who: A competition against yourself (30 seconds of Push ups followed by 20 seconds of rest)
What: You will write down the number of push ups performed on your 20 second break and your topwatch should not stop.
Where: Here is the Push up Drill Template if you do not want to recreate it
Why: Stay within 3 push ups from Set 1 to Set 10 for a great workout.  (i.e. Set 1 I performed 28 push ups. Set 10 I should work hard to perform between 25-31 push ups)
How: Hands directly below shoulders (modified: hips tucked and knees on the ground)
I cut individual strips for everyone in my boot camp class last week.  Do the same or just track your progress.  Below is the format each patron received when they walked in my class:

As mentioned above, just click here to find my Push up Drill Template if you want to use mine.

Now tell me, how'd you do?

Monday, September 19, 2011

American Idol Playlist for Indoor Cycling

Team - I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. My weekend was filled with Weddings, Birthdays and lots of quality family time in Peebles, Ohio.  This weekend I also had the privilege of attending the Cincinnati Symphony and Pop Orchestra here in Cincinnati, Ohio. The special guest this weekend was the American Idol Runner-up Katharine Mcphee (in my eyes, The American Idol). She was fantastic and sounded amazing! American Idol has truly changed the face of music in the last 5 years. Some of the biggest names in today's music came from the American Idol Stage.

With that said, today's playlist features the hits from our American Idols, including Katharine Mcphee.

Today we're going to keep the pace High or Low:
1: Seated Flat (90-110 rpms)
2: Standing Flat (80-100 rpms)
3: Seated Climb (65-75 rpms)
4: Standing Climb (60-80 rpms)

Here was the beautiful view at Cincinnati's Music Hall. Amazing! And, even better, I live a few blocks away.

Do any of you watch American Idol? If so, who is your favorite artist or favorite song from which season? Comment and share it, I want to know!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Total Body Toning

Team - This workout is upper body, lower body and core.  It's everything and it's only 10 minutes!

What you'll need:

Hand weights (recommended 5-8lbs)
A mat for the Plank (optional)

What you'll be doing:

Chest Fly with a Wall Squat
Lunge with Bi Curls, with a standing Lateral Raise
Plank (see modifications)

20 Second Break of Jumping Jacks with Hand Weights

Repeat this cycle 3 times for a Total Body Workout!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Easy and Healthy Recipe - Eggs Ole

Team - Happy Friday! I'm feeling another late night snack. This is what I chow down on sometimes when I get lazy and do not want to cook something.

1. Gather your ingrediants
  • Guacomole (click to find out how I make Guac)
  • Salsa
  • Pita Chips
  • 2 whole eggs

2.  Crack your eggs and put them in a greased skillet

3.  Break up the yolks

4.  Cook on medium high for 90 seconds or until fully cooked.  Transfer to a plate and add guac, salsa, and chips.

I personally think anything with Guac is amazing.  My mother would make this for my brother and I growing up and I recently came across the recipe on one of my favorite fitness sites and I thought I would share with all of you! Enjoy and see ya soon for your weekend workout.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Life This Week

Team - What a crazy fitness week! I hope everyone is living life to the fullest. Teaching fitness classes is a fun and exciting career.  I enjoy encouraging groups to reach their fitness goals and communicating with groups of people on a daily basis. And something new happens almost every single time I teach a class.  My week was as follows:

  • Monday:  Spin and Abs (1.5 hours)
  • Tuesday: Kickboxing, Abs, Yoga (2.5 hours)
  • Wednesday: Bootcamp (1 hour)
  • Thursday: Triple threat (cardio, toning, abs), abs and Spin (2.5 hours)
Can you believe I have two more classes on Saturday morning and your weekend workout? Me either!

Tonights triple threat class was structured a lot like your Weekend Workout with Gliders a couple weeks ago - I will be feeling that in the morning! 

A few thoughts were being thrown around in my head on my way home from my classes tonight: dinner, tomorrow's recipe post (that will be amazing) and my after dinner snack.  Smart snacking is the key to staying healthy, especially if you're active.  

Between classes, my daytime job, friends, family and my social life, sometimes it feels like there is no time to sit down and eat healthy.  And when I am ready to eat, usually I want to reach for something quick and easy.  Think about this the next time you're snacking or looking for something quick and easy, with a half of cup of this snack, you'll get 11g out of your 46g-63g of proteins.  Here is a power snack to never forget about: Edamame

This bean is from China and has been an Asian favorite for centuries.  Japen first developed this vegetable-type soybean in the 13th century cooking and serving them in the pod.  And somehow it has found it's way to Cincinnati, OH in 2011.  Here are a few quick facts on why you should try this snack:
  1. $1.49 for a large pack and it tastes just like a restaurant
  2. A natural source of antioxidants - help prevent negative effects of free radicals in your body
  3. Also contain isoflavones - may help reduce prostate and breast cancer, high blood pressure and diminish the risk of heart attacks (just to name a few)
  4. Is about 36% protein
  5. A natural source of Vitamin E - also contains Vitamins A and B
  6. Edamame also possess anti-inflammatory agents and can help problems with arthritis or other inflammatory conditions
Sprinkle a little sea salt on top - follow the directions and enjoy - a great snack to catch up on the DVR with!

Source: The Health Benefits of Edamame

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How To Teach a Group Fitness Class - Counting Music

Team - I love teaching group classes and I love explaining how I teach a class!  To build off of "How to teach a group fitness, part 1," here is "How to teach a Group Fitness, part 2."

Today's post will focus on the music instructor's use in class, the upbeat, downbeat and the 32 count phrase.  There are several ways to count the beat and/or the 32 count in group fitness music.  Find out what method works for you and stick to it!  All in all, the combination has to total 32 counts.  Whether it's 4's, 8's, 2's or 16's; the total has to be 32 counts.

Here are a few tips, tricks and a video example of instructing a group fitness class:

1. Find Your Music:  Prepare! Some mixes make it hard to hear the beat and phrase. If this is the case, avoid this music for your class.  Find a CD that you like and stick with it for 2-4 weeks.  Once you feel comfortable with this music, add another CD to the mix.

2. Count on the Upbeat:  There is an upbeat and a downbeat.  We instruct on the upbeat.  The downbeat is off beat. The downbeat will feel very unnatural as if you're swimming against the current.  Some patrons will naturally understand the beat and some will not know a beat if it hit them in the face.  That is why we're, instructors, there to lead the class.

3.  The 32 Count: Musical phrasing consists of a 32 count.  Phrasing is made up of a group of 8 counts.  Four 8 counts make up a 32 count phrase.  This is why it is very natural for me to count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.  Four sets give me a 32 count combination.  My video below details my method.

Listen to my method of finding the upbeat and a 32 count phrase. 

Now grab your music and try it at home.  Let me know if you have any questions.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Indoor Cycling Playlist - Georgia On My Mind

Hi Team - Happy Monday! I'm excited to get back in the swing of things because we were celebrating Labor Day this time last week. Without further ado, here is your spinning playlist for the week of September 12th.

This playlist was inspired by my home away from home, Georgia.  I lived in Atlanta throughout my college career and thought today's playlist should start and end with some Georgia-themed songs.  I even threw in some Keri Hilson. (She was born and raised in Decatur, GA.)

Things to note in this playist:

Jumping (seated to standing by smooth transition) is the main focus of this playlist.  I wanted to focus on devloping strength and coordination with this class. With this said, do not try jumping up and down for at the same pace for 17.5 minutes.  Mix it up! Try coming out of the saddle with a burst of energy or executing the same thing while you approach the seated position.  This will help break up the jumps.

From Gladys Knight and the Pips to Ray Charles...I've gotta say it was a smooth ride.

Georgia, you are definately on my mind! Stay healthy and we'll chat soon.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Jump Rope Workout - Weekend Workout

Team - We all have one, so let's finally use it! I'm talking about that dusty Jump Rope you have in the garage or closet.

This Weekend Workout features intervals for the first 5 minutes and then you'll pick up that Jump Rope and bring up the heart rate.

Jump Rope Workout:

Jump Rope (right to left)
Jump Rope (front and back)
Butt Kicks

With Jump Rope: (5 messups = 5 pushups)

Jump Rope (right to left)
Jump Rope (front and back)

Group Instructors: For other Cardio classes, feel free to take these moves and make them into a 32 count combos.  To make it easier for counting purposes, pulse the lunges down for 3 (counts 1-6) and stand up on 4 (counts 7-8). For boot camp class ideas, approach it similar to the video, use a stopwatch and add more exercises into the mix.  Try making the class run while using the jump rope.  It's a blast!

At Home Use: I challenge you to continue the Jump Rope Workout for an additional 5 minutes and remember, 5 mess ups = 5 pushups.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Easy and Healthy Recipe - Vanilla Almond Oatmeal

Team - The USDA recommends eating at least 3 servings of whole grain each day.  A healthy oatmeal breakfast is a great way to start the day.  Oatmeal is a good source of fiber, maintains blood sugar levels and helps to satisfies your appetite.

This oatmeal recipe is a little sweet, but the nutmeg gives it a little bit of spice.  Yum!

1.  Gather your ingredients:

Serving Size: 2

2 cups of Oats
3 1/2 cups of Water
1/2 cup of Raisins
1/2 cup of Almonds
1/2 tsp of Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup of Milk (Almond if you're Lactose Intolerant)
Nutmeg (to taste)
Brown Sugar (to taste)
Pinch of Ground Cinnamon  

2.  Pour your water (3 1/2 cups) in a medium saucepan and bring to boil

3.  Put your Oats and Raisins in a prep bowl and add to the boiling water

4.  Immediately turn the stovetop to Low and stir occasionally, 5 minutes total.

5.  Add the Ground Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Brown Sugar to your Oatmeal.

6.  Spoon the Oatmeal into the bowl and add Milk (1/4 cup). Stir!

7.  Garnish with almond slices and enjoy!

It's simple, healthy and the right option to start your day. 

Source:  Dietary Guidelines

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Group Fitness Class Etiquette

Team - Here are your dos and don'ts for your first group fitness class.  I have been teaching fitness classes for over 7 years and believe me when I say, "I've seen it all!"  I've seen the smiles, the frowns and the talkative participants.

Being courteous and respectful to the instructor and other participants help you achieve the best possible experience in your group fitness class.

A picture of our group fitness staff at Eastern Kentucky University
What should you do?

Do - come prepared for class.  This means bringing a water bottle (if you don't want to leave class during your water break) and wear the appropriate attire.  Athletic shoes, top and shorts need to be appropriate for all fitness classes.

Do - be on time, which means be early!  If your class starts at 6:00 pm, please plan on arriving to the gym by 5:40 pm.  This gives you enough time to check in, put your stuff away and set up for class.  Setting up for class is crucial!  Setting up may involve adjusting the height of your bike, grabbing a bench and risers for a step class or asking other specific questions.

Do - talk to your instructor.  We're normal people, we promise! Say "hi" and let us know if you have any injuries we should consider.  Make sure the class format is right for you and your body.  If you've had a double knee replacement and you have strained your lower back, Spinning is probably not the right class for you.  Please do not get discouraged, most gyms will have another class on the schedule for you.

Do - be attentive in class.  The instructor will give you multiple modifications for each exercise.  For example, if you miss the modifications for a Plank, you could strain your back.  Don't talk, just listen and enjoy the class.

Do - give the instructor feedback.  As mentioned earlier, we're humans and we make mistakes too.  Let us know that the class was fun, but you would've liked have seen more kicks in kickboxing. We love feedback!

Do - the warmup.  Warming up prior to class is the most important part to a class.  Gradually warming up our muscles with dynamic exercises will help you not reduce the risk of injury.

What should you not do?

Don't - be late to class.  Everyone else made it on time, please try to do the same.  Be especially early for Mind and Body classes.  Silence is golden in a Yoga class.

Don't - just stop cause it's too hard. Modifications are given to you throughout class.  If class gets too hard, think about gradually bringing your HR back down by marching in place.  If you just stop, you might drop!

Don't - use a cell phone in class. Also, if you hear your ringer, politely step over and turn it to silent.  It will be much better than your roommate calling you ten more times to tell you that she forgot to DVR Jersey Shore.

Don't - forget to stay hydrated. Bring water or carefully step out to a water fountain if you need a drink.

Don't - leave early. The cool down is just as important as the warm up. And usually the best part of class.  At the end of the class you'll feel accomplished and ready to conquer the world or the next group fitness class.

Do you agree with list?  Please comment and let me know if you would add anything, exclude anything or if you have general feedback for my list.  Views from the participant and instructor side are welcomed.

Enjoy class and work hard!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bootcamp Workout

Team - A bootcamp style class is my favorite class to teach. Regular group classes are fun too, but bootcamp style classes are great because I am able to say "go at your own pace" and "challenge yourself." For example, if I say "go" and you have a minute to do as many repetitions as possible of one exercise, the only thing holding you back is you!  It's a fun aspect of class because I get to see everyone work hard! Overall, it makes me feel good to hear people say "good class," when in all reality, they made it a good class.

I have 3 Bootcamp classes a week and I usually follow a simple "minute madness" routine for each class.  This keeps it simple and effective. And no complaints so far!

Try this workout at home too!  This is how I fill 50-60 minutes of class:

Bootcamp Workout (Minutes: Details)

1-8:  Warm up - march in place, step touch, ham curls (arms moving with legs)
9-13:  Bring HRs up - jumping jacks, jump rope, lunges, squats
14-18:  HIIT - High Intense Interval Training - suicides, burpees, mountain climbers, box jumps, extreme jacks, squat jumps
19-50:  "Minute Madness" with medium size hand weights

Use the exercises below in a pyramid scheme.  Perform exercise 1 for a minute, then take a minute break.  Do exercise 1, 2, then take a minute break.  Do exercise 1, 2, 3, then take a minute break.  Continue this pattern to exercise #7 - perform each exercise for a minute and rest as needed.

  1. Side Squats - hand weights are at an isolated bicep curl (elbows locked to your sides engaging biceps)
  2. Close grip Shoulder Press - palms face in by chin, elbows point forward, press up
  3. One Arm Extended Lunge - Right arm extended overhead, left leg will lunge - after 30 seconds switch (L arm extended, R leg lunges)
  4. Squat with Row - feet together and squat down, weight in heels, hold squat and focus on pulling elbows up, head looks three feet in front of the body
  5. Push up with Side Plank - weights on the ground, push up right to side plank
  6. Plank
  7. Jack-knife Sit up - lay flat on your back sit up to opposite hand touches toe or both hands toes toes 

50-60:  Cool down

This is an awesome workout! I did this in my Saturday classes right before my Weekend Workout and I'm still feeling it today!

Try this bootcamp workout and give me your feedback.  I hope everyone had a wonderfully relaxing Labor Day.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day, but what is Labor Day?

Team - This is for you Bloggies, Happy Labor Day!  I love the Holidays! And I love Labor Day because it truly is a day of rest.  A lot of people just see it as a day off work, but what is Labor Day?

Labor day pays tribute to the men and women who work.  The United States and Canada have been celebrating Labor Day since 1894.  Thanks Mom, thanks Dad and thanks to all of you hard working people.

With that said, take the a few minutes today to stop and rest.  My favorite stretch is a child's pose. I pulled this still from my Ab Workout.

Thanks again for visiting my blog and tomorrow's combo will be a Boot Camp workout, so check back again tomorrow for those details.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Kettlebell workout for Beginners

Team - Happy Labor Day weekend!  This Weekend Workout features our favorite fitness friend, the Kettlebell.  Kettlebell workouts are great because simplicity is key.  Similar to this workout, all exercises performed with the Kettlebell should be easy to perform.  Easy to perform does not mean easy.  The Kettlebell will help you achieve a total body workout.

The Kettlebell is a strength training piece of equipment.  And to be frank, it's a weight with a handle on the top.  All jokes aside, this simple thing can also help you get a heck of a workout!  Although this is perceived as strength training, you will notice that your cardio fitness abilities will be challenged as well.  I used a 15lb Kettlebell in this workout and before I started the workout I kept thinking, "I wish this was about 25 lbs," but I was thankful it was lighter by the end of the workout.

This Weekend Workout features classic Kettlebell exercises:

1.  Squat
2.  Double Arm Kettlebell Swing
3.  Squat with Shoulder Press
4.  Clean to Shoulder (right side)
5.  One Arm Overhead Press (right side)
6.  Overhead Extension with Opposite Lunge
7.  Clean to Shoulder (left side)
8.  One Arm Overhead Press (left side)
9.  Overhead Extension with Opposite Lunge
10.  One Arm Kettlebell Swing

I have to share this with you.  It use to take me ALL weekend to upload these workouts and this video only took 20 minutes to upload! After 3 months, I finally figured it out.  Now off to enjoy a wonderful weekend with friends.  Hope you had a great workout.  Comment and let me know what you think, I would love to hear from you!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Quick and Healthy Snacks - Chicken Pretzel Roll Up

Hi Team - This recipe combines some salt and spice together for the perfect snack.  We've all ask ourselves this question a couple hours after lunch or dinner:  "I kind of hungry and need a bite to eat, but I want it to be healthy, what should I fix?" I have the perfect solution for you!

This same scenario happens to me all the time!  My schedule is as follows - breakfast, work, lunch, work out or teach, protein shake, come home, eat dinner - I am usually looking in the refrigerator for a quick snack a few hours after dinner.  Today's recipe usually fills me up and I never feel bad for eating a few of these quick and healthy snacks.

Prep Time: 1 minute
Time to fix: 3 minutes

1.  First, gather your ingredients.

Honey Wheat Pretzel Sticks (low sodium)
Spicy Mustard (if you have sensitive taste buds, use honey mustard)
Chicken Breast (sliced thin, not shredded)

2.  Lay one piece of your Chicken Breast on a plate

  3.  Put honey or spicy mustard in the middle of the Chicken Breast - something like the below picture ; - )

4.  Fold the slice of Chicken Breast over, cut into two pieces (or in half) and place a Honey Wheat Pretzel Stick at each end.

5.  Roll and repeat and repeat (and repeat) until you've reached your desired amount.

Yum! The pretzels have a little salt, the mustard is the spice and the meat helps fill my cravings.  Very quick, easy and healthy. Comment and let me know what else you eat as a snack?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Quick and Easy Ways to Stay Healthy

Team, Happy Thursday!  I'm doing everything I can to enjoy the last few weeks of summer.  It's still warm during the day, but the nights drop down to extra low temps and we all know what that means - fall is near.  With that said, I wanted to share with you a fun "My Life and Fitness" story.  Even if a situation can not be related to physical fitness, I will find a way to walk a few extra steps.  It's true, every little bit helps!

My childhood friend was having a celebration at a pub beside my daytime job, Empower MediaMarketing.  I stayed late at work to congratulate her but I quickly realized I needed a bite to eat. With numerous restaurants within 10 feet of my job, I decided to walk to a burger joint down the hill.  Unfortunately and fortunately, Cincinnati is a very hilly city and I work on a largest hill in the downtown area.

I accelerated my walking trip by doing a few walking exercises on my journey down the hill.  My walking exercises consisted of walking calve raises (staying on the toes or the ball of your foot), speed walking, side stepping and walking backward (only did this going up the hill). This also helped me burn a few more calories.

My total trip from start to finish was 1.2 miles and this mileage did not include elevation on the giant hill.  As I was placing my order (for a burger, *smile), I realized what made the trip a success.  I was able to enjoy a wonderful view of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.  The below picture was my exact view from the table.

I saved gas (by walking), burned extra calories (with the 1.2 mile trip) and the best part was enjoying the view of Cincinnati.  I encourage you to not cut corners with your help and try and find "that view."  Take the extra steps and see what you'll find.  You could find something much better than "the view." I said it once and I'll say it again, every little bit helps!

Here are some quick and easy ways to get healthy:

  1. At halftime, walk around the field if your son or daughter is playing a soccer, baseball or football.
  2. At the mall, park on the opposite side so you're forced to walk across the mall to your favorite store.
  3. Don't sit at your desk and send emails all day, try to get up and talk to the person face to face (if you have a few minutes).
  4. Take the stairs at least once a day.  Try to stay off anything mechanical (i.e. elevators, moving sidewalks, escalators)
  5. Park in the back of the lot - don't complain, it'll only take an extra 40 seconds
  6. Pick your favorite show and do a variety of exercises during the commercial break.
  7. My favorite: Dance! Turn some music on while you're doing dishes and break it down!

 What other simple and easy things can we do to stay healthy?
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